House Democrats say the state budget proposed by House Republicans will devastate many public schools throughout the state. The budget passed overwhelmingly in a House vote Tuesday.
House Republicans named education their top focus this session, and the bulk of debate over the budget revolves around education funding.
Specifically, it involves changes to the school funding formula that seek to help growing, wealthier suburban school districts. But those changes would mean significantly less money for poor, inner city schools that are losing students.
House Republican budget architect Tim Brown says his caucus’ proposed budget will include more money spent on education than ever before in state history. The House GOP’s budget proposal was unveiled Monday.
House Republican leaders have said for months that education was their top priority this session and that they planned a significant increase in funding for K through 12 schools.
To that end, House Ways and Means Chair Tim Brown says, under the House GOP budget, schools would get $469 million more over the next two years than they did in the last state budget.
Despite tax revenues that struggled for much of the fiscal year, Indiana closes its book with a surplus of more than $100 million and reserves topping $2 billion. But Democrats say the state is hoarding money to make its bottom line look good.
Going into the final month of the fiscal year, Indiana was about $50 million short of expectations. But a strong June helped the state end the year about $13 million above projected levels. Still, Indiana brought in nearly $60 million less this year than last year.